Architects: Architects 49
Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Client: The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 17,653 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Architects 49
Structural Engineer: Architectural Engineering 49
System Engineer: M&E Engineering 49
Interior Architect: Interior Architects 49
Graphic Designer: Graphic 49
Construction Management: Consulting & Management 49 Limited
Contractor: CH. Karnchang Public Company Limited
Royal Archives, Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary is the central archive for important historical evidence related to the Thai Royal Monarchy including manuscripts, photographs and other historical records. Previously these invaluable materials were stored separately in various sites.
Therefore, the brief of this project was called for a permanent central royal archive building as a place for storing, researching and conserving any information related to the royal family – Chakri Dynasty. The main areas are listed below:
- Printed documents / objects Archives – approximately 13,179 square meters. ( this area is mainly used for storing documents except for Her Majesty Royal Highness the Queen’s section where a specially controlled environment room is needed for silk collections and other artifacts.
- Archives area for any documents dated from King Rama IV until present. Temperature, humidity and lighting control are strictly monitored in this area.
- Permanent exhibition space – a display area of the King Rama VI’s achievements and biography.
- Temporary exhibition space
- Conference room – 100 seats
- Public library
- Car park – 80 cars
- Conceptual design
- Zoning strategy
- Modern Thai architectural language
- Energy conservation methodology
1.0 Zoning strategy – The project can be categorized into main three zones:
1.1 Public zone – the areas where public users have full access i.e. exhibition rooms , the library (designated area) and 100-seat conference room. They are located in the front part of the building for easily accessible purpose.
1.2 Private zone – staff office area.
1.3 Secured zone – archives materials storage rooms where only authorized staff can have access.
Three building forms are, therefore, a direct translation of this zoning strategy analysis. They are connected by a central courtyard which is sometimes used for holding official functions by Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary as well.
2. Modern Thai architecture – Due to the narrow drive way to the main building entrance, the front of the building is designed to reach forward to receive the visitors. The canopy at the drop-off area is made of red wood, a warm gesture to welcome guests. Other metaphoric approach to communicating the essence of traditional Thai architecture can be found elsewhere such as teak textured wall at the main entrance. The large red entry doors, derived from entries commonly found in traditional Thai palace, are designed to reflect the importance of archives materials created during Chakri Dynasty.
3. Energy conservation – the project site is a rectangular shape with east-west orientation. The building functions do not require much natural daylight therefore the buildings are designed to be stacked masses to create shadows casting over one another, reducing heated surface area. The 8-storey archives building is built with mostly solid walls and situated at the back blocking direct sunlight from the west, sheltering the library building in the south-east. All archives storage rooms have interior wall insulation to prevent any heat gain. On the eastern façade of the library, vertical precast concrete panels are designed to protect the interior space from direct sunlight.
Text provided by Architects 49